Summit Fellows Spotlight: Blog from Wanda Rogers Of Uinta County Business Leadership Network

Wanda Rogers, Executive Director Of Uinta County Business Leadership Network & MentorABILITY
August 21st, 2018
Posted In: National Mentoring Month Blog Series

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With the generous founding support of AT&T, MENTOR launched the Summit Fellowship Program in 2016 to provide professional development scholarships to mentoring program leaders facing financial constraints to attend our National Mentoring Summit. In 2017, thanks to additional investments, MENTOR expanded the Program and provided fifteen scholarships to dedicated leaders from mentoring programs operating with a budget of $150,000 or less.

In the Summit Fellows Spotlight series, the 2018 Fellows reflect on their experiences at the Summit and the lessons they’ve brought back to their local communities and programs.

Q: Why was it important for you to attend the National Mentoring Summit?

We started our new Mentor-Match program approximately a year ago and the opportunity to attend the National Mentoring Summit was vital to me in establishing a program with fortitude that would impact the lives of mentees and mentors we are recruiting.   

Our new Mentor-Match program places students with disabilities, at-risk or in the judicial system with mentors.  Even though we have operated a mentoring program geared around employment, this new opportunity required a new look and presence.  Attending the Summit and participating in the breakout sessions, along with visiting with Fellows provided me with new insight and ideas to implement in our program.

 

Q: How did attending the Summit help you develop new skills or gain new ideas?

Attending the Summit impacted me in identifying key aspects in establishing a strong and vibrant mentoring program. The breakout sessions were informational and energizing, providing me with excellent ideas to implement into our new mentoring program. And I was able to bring back excellence ideas to implement into our new mentoring program. The highlight of attending conferences/summits is the opportunity to network with other people who share my passion and drive to improve the lives of youth and enhance the lives of adults who volunteer to mentor. Spending time with the Fellows and gleaning from their expertise was the highlight of the Summit.

Wanda Rogers, Executive Director Of Uinta County Business Leadership Network & MentorABILITY

Q: How have you brought your learnings from the Summit back to your organization?

Prior to coming to the Summit, we hired a new staff person to coordinate our Mentor-Match program.  She attended the conference and the information we both gained provided us with ideas to establish our program on a strong foundation.  We have or are in the process of implementing the following ideas:

  • Establish a youth steering committee
  • Implemented monthly mentor/mentee group activities
  • Implemented assigning mentor and mentee matches to plan and facilitate monthly group meetings to help youth learn planning and leadership skills
  • Work with local school board for mentees and mentors to share their testimonies on mentoring
  • During the mentee intake process, we ask youth to help us identify a potential mentor for them

 

Q: Why is it important to support and provide mentoring practitioners with professional development and peer networking opportunities?

Professional development allows mentor practitioners to strengthen their skills and takes us to a higher level to enhance our mentoring programs. The value of networking is essential in learning and gaining ideas from one another. Through networking, we learn the pros and cons of other programs and with this information we are able to learn and build stronger programs.

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